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The Spectacular Parade of Allegories: Showcasing Cusco's University Spirit

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 23-06-2023

Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, is not only known for its rich history and stunning architecture but also for its vibrant cultural events. Among these, the "Desfile de Alegorías de las Universidades de Cusco" stands out as a grand celebration of academic pride and creativity. In June, this ancestral land is filled with joy, dance, color, and music in honor of its tradition, its cultural roots, and its rich history. Immerse yourself in the magic of the Cusco Festivals and discover the most outstanding events that will transport you to a magical world full of history and spirituality. This annual parade, in June each year, brings together the city's universities and is a colorful display of allegorical floats, lively music, and exuberant students. Find out more about the magical world of this unique event that captivates both locals and visitors alike.


he Parade of Allegories in Cusco is a vibrant and culturally significant event that takes place during the city's anniversary celebrations in late June. You can see this colorful parade on a Cusco city tour. It showcases the history, culture, and traditions of Cusco and its surrounding regions through a series of elaborate floats and performances.

"Chunchachas"  Dance Universidad Andino


A Legacy of Academic Excellence

Cusco boasts a distinguished reputation for its universities, which have nurtured countless scholars throughout history. The Desfile de Alegorías serves as a platform for these institutions to showcase their academic achievements and highlight the rich heritage they embody. With roots dating back to the colonial era, the parade has evolved into a magnificent spectacle that blends tradition, innovation, and pride.


Try and time your Cusco tours to coincide with the parade of the allegories. The parade features thousands of participants, including dancers, musicians, and actors, who showcase traditional costumes, dances, and music. It's a lively and colorful spectacle that attracts both locals and tourists, showcasing the cultural richness of Cusco.

Parade in Traditional Dress


A Fusion of Art, Culture, and Education

The heart of the Desfile de Alegorías lies in the stunning allegorical floats that grace the streets of Cusco. Months of meticulous planning, designing, and construction culminate in these masterpieces that symbolize the essence of each university. Elaborate sculptures, vibrant colors, and intricate details adorn the floats, captivating the imagination of onlookers. Each allegory represents a different field of study, paying homage to the diverse academic disciplines embraced by the participating institutions.


What makes the Parade of Allegories special is its fusion of pre-Columbian, colonial, and contemporary elements, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Cusco. Each float is meticulously designed to represent a specific theme or aspect of Cusco's history and culture.  These include the Inca civilization, the Spanish conquest, traditional Peru festivals, and local legends.

Campesino Representation


The Melody of Unity

Music plays a pivotal role in the Desfile de Alegorías, infusing the parade with a vibrant Cusqueñan energy. University bands, composed of talented students, march alongside the floats, filling the air with rhythmic melodies and joyous tunes. The infectious beats resonate through the streets, creating an electric atmosphere that unites spectators and participants in a shared celebration of academic achievement.


 Each university in Cusco participating in the Parade of Allegories creates a float or performance. These allegories often draw on the university's founding principles, notable alumni, academic programs, and cultural significance. Check out this Cusco festival on your Peru vacation packages.

Traditional Dance in The Plaza de Armas


Community Engagement and Collaboration

The parade extends beyond the boundaries of the university campuses, inviting the entire Cusco community to partake in the festivities. Families, tourists, and locals line the streets, eagerly awaiting the procession of allegorical floats. The event provides an opportunity for students to interact with the community, sharing their knowledge, projects, and passion for learning. It fosters a sense of unity and cooperation among the diverse participants and instills a spirit of lifelong learning in the hearts of both young and old.


Various regions that you will see when you visit Peru, will have their own traditional costumes and dresses. These are worn with pride during folkloric dances and celebrations. These dresses are often characterized by their bright colors, intricate embroidery, and unique accessories.

Popular for all ages


Preserving Traditions that Inspire the Future

While the Desfile de Alegorías honors the historical legacy of Cusco's universities, it also serves as a platform for innovation and creativity. The parade showcases the evolution of academic disciplines and the dynamic spirit of the institutions, reflecting the changing needs and aspirations of society. By preserving tradition while embracing progress, the event inspires a new generation of students to pursue knowledge, contribute to their communities, and shape the future.


When you travel to Cusco Peru in June, you are likely to see many festivals. One of the more unusual is the Parade of Allegories. The floats in the Parade of Allegories are not only visually stunning but also serve as a means of preserving and promoting Peruvian culture and heritage.

Enormous Horse 


The Desfile de Alegorías de las Universidades de Cusco is a captivating celebration that unites history, art, education, and community. Through the splendid allegorical floats, the enchanting melodies, and the spirit of collaboration, this annual parade encapsulates the essence of Cusco's vibrant academic culture. It not only showcases the achievements of the universities but also inspires a collective appreciation for the pursuit of knowledge. The Desfile de Alegorías is an experience that lingers in the hearts of those who witness it, leaving a lasting impression of the power of education and the unity it fosters. If you happen to be in Cusco in June, it is likely you will witness these exuberant parades on the streets of Cusco for yourself! Find out more here.


Traditional masks are often worn at a Peruvian festival. They are used as part of the costumes to represent specific characters or themes. These masks can vary widely in style and design, depending on the cultural or historical context they are meant to portray.

Traditional Mask